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What I am Reading
  • Infinite Jest
    Infinite Jest
    by David Foster Wallace
  • Home Safe: A Novel
    Home Safe: A Novel
    by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Religious Case Against Belief
    The Religious Case Against Belief
    by James P. Carse


"Ladies and gentlemen, direct from the bar, here's Dean!

                                     Joey quips after one song"


Christy's Sundown: where we uncorked a bottle

of wine to dine in the Vegas-style setting

of your favorite restaurant when I came to town

almost expecting to find Frankie and the gang,

holding court at a big table with his Rat Pack

clown, Sammy, and the Italian and Jewish boys

crowded 'round, drinking and cracking

inside jokes to lots of booze and lots of smokes

that didn't seem to hurt the singing notes.


I am getting a little stoned tonight because the sun

sets at Christy's, knowing you are ashes, now,

dear heart, that's why I am getting stoned.

Always knew how to do that--a few glasses before,

and after, feels better writing a letter not sitting

across from you.  Mr. Christy ('Nick,' to you


because you were a close one), fluttered my heart

before it filled, metaphorically speaking, with ashes,

yet, still, there's this echo of a time when the fine

Mr. Christy came by our table with a surprisingly limp

handshake for your big sister. Me, thinking, Show me

the passion, big Dude!  El Greco! No wimp! Gee,

you were the fire that made Helen flee.


This night in near-empty salon rooms, a few

old souls sup in silence, and then I am alone except

for celebrity photos on the foyer walls: Christy's

cronies consigned to the reception gallery.

You, not among these famous faces, nor am I,

and here's why.  We did not hang with Dean Martin,

Kenny Rogers, Joey Bishop, Gary Merrill, ('Best


to Nick, a great restaurant'), Art Linkletter or any

others of the long-gone great.  We never broke bread

with Anita Bryant (thank God), or dove with Esther

Williams into the soup du jour, or sat beside sublime

Miss America, 1969.  Only photos share stamina

to retain their glamour.  A good restauranteur

has friends in high places. So, Smile, Brother --

You're on Celestial Camera.